Teen rapper is never satisfied, seeks to build legacy

Jay Verze

Exum has dropped about five projects so far, but the one he is most proud of is his most recent one “21117,” (TwoElevenSeventeen.) he calls it his “first real project,” and it came out last summer. - See more at: http://www.thetitanchronicle.com/top-stories/2013/06/21/class-of-2013-graduate/#sthash.KJvkTzev.dpuf

“A rapper is only as good as his last verse,” says Darius “Jay Verze” Exum, Class of 2013.
Exum, 17, started rapping around the age of seven, but he never actually recorded anything until he hit the age of 12.
Music is his main focus right now, and school has kind of been put on hold for the moment. He isn’t attending college in the fall, but for a good reason. He says he is in a good position right now, and he even has people looking at him to sign a record contract.
“Education is important but school will always be there; I’m young and I’m only young once so I want to take advantage of my time and really see how far my talent takes me,” says Exum.
This recent graduate started off as Young D, but as he got older, he changed his name to Jay Verze.
“I don’t know if people know or not, but my middle name is Jaron so that’s where the “Jay” came from; the “Verze” is just self-explanatory. A rapper is only as good as his last verse. The spelling of Verse with a Z, just came from me wanting to separate myself. Type in Jay Verze on Google and I’m the only person that comes up,” he says laughing.
Exum’s father had a huge impact on his decision to make music.
“Being surrounded by good music at a young age, my pops put me on with a lot of classics, and as I got older, my love for music just [grew] from there,” he said.
The artists of these “classics” were also his inspiration, The Temptations, Michael Jackson, The Isley Brothers, and other artists and groups made him want to pursue a career in music. They all are huge influences on the music he creates today. Exum refers to them as “The pioneers of the industry.”
Those artists are what give him that “old-school” feel in his music. He also takes some of his inspiration from artists like Lupe Fiasco and Tupac.
Exum writes all of his own music.
“When I’m going through something, I’ll sit down and write about it and it just comes naturally,” he says.
As he looks to the future, Darius Exum wants to be somebody important; he wants to be seen as somebody who made a difference in people’s lives. His music represents him. He wants people to know that he isn’t all about partying and negativity.
“I just want to build a legacy; when you hear the name Jay Verze, I want it to be like “Oh, it’s that dude.” You know artists come and go, but I want to be somebody that’s remembered,” said Exum in an interview for Curators of Hip Hop. (Online interview).
“I think my music is just an experience of life that [is] relatable for everybody. People my age can relate because I’m speaking from a young adults perspective. Older people can listen to my music and reminisce back to when they were at that point in their life,” says Exum.
Exum has dropped about five projects so far, but the one he is most proud of is his most recent one “21117,” (TwoElevenSeventeen.) he calls it his “first real project,” and it came out last summer.
He has opened up for people like Cam’ron in New York and worked with people like StarrZ and Rickie Jacobs; he is looking forward to working with more people.
Exum has a great support system. His parents are supporting him and behind him 100%. His friends are supporting him too, showing up at his concerts, listening to his music, and even helping him promote it.
“Staying current with everything going on around me but at the same time not paying attention to what others are doing because when you focus on others, you forget your own goals,” says Exum.
“He is a really hardworking rapper and [I] appreciate… the time he puts in in the studio, I’m a supporter of his music,” says Darien Chambers, senior.
“He’s really cool, and laid back, if he does make it I’m sure he won’t let it change him, he’s not the type of person to do that,” says Rasheed Oridedi, senior.
“I think I’m in a pretty good position, 17 years old, been on the radio before, been in newspapers, multiple blog sites. I think it’s cool. But I’m never satisfied. I always feel like I can do more. Guess that’s what comes with being a Virgo,” says Exum.
Exum is working on promoting his music and a new EP right now. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @JayVerze , and check him out. Visit his website at www.Jayverze.com.